Tom Hoge will play the Masters this week trying to break a 60-plus-year curse.
Hoge won the pre-tournament Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, and no winner has ever gone on to claim the green jacket that week at Augusta National Golf Club.
“Just go out and try and play well,” said Hoge, who tied for 39th in his first Masters in 2022. “We have some crazy weather here forecast, so not really sure what to expect in that regard, but I guess good start here to the week today, so try to keep that going.”
Hoge, 33, captured the nine-hole contest with a 6-under-par 21, the lowest score since Tom Watson won with a 21 in 2018.The event was last played to completion in 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic and inclement weather caused cancellations the past three years.
Hoge aced the eighth hole and made birdie on No. 9 to win by one stroke over two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and Kurt Kitayama.
“I made a few birdies early and then the hole-in-one on eight was cool to see go in,” Hoge said. “Just a fun day out here this afternoon with my wife caddying for me.”
There were five aces on Wednesday, for a total of 106 total since the event started in 1960.
Watson made a hole-in-one on No. 4, defending Masters champion Scottie Scheffler holed out on No. 9 and Seamus Power made two, on Nos. 8 and 9.
Power of Ireland became the third player to ace back-to-back holes in the event’s history, joining Claude Harmon (1968) and Toshi Izawa (2002).
“That’s a dream come true,” Power said. “Honestly, to get one is special, but to get the second one was a bit surreal. But it was an absolute blast out there.”
Scheffler actually hit his tee shot at No. 9 before Power, in the group ahead of him, retrieved his ball, so both balls ended up together in the cup.
“That was pretty fun,” Scheffler said. “We were trying to make one all day. That was just, I guess, the slam dunk at the end was definitely very fun. The guys were pretty focused watching their shots, and they didn’t quite see it go in. They just heard the noise, and I was like, yeah, that went in. That was mine.”
–Field Level Media